Medieval Hakata - Xie Guoming (Part 1)

Medieval Hakata - Xie Guoming (Part 1)

 

Medieval Hakata - Xie Guoming (Part 1)... A merchant who traded between the Sung Dynasty and Hakata

 

- In this article, we will introduce the city and people of medieval Hakata during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Let's take a walk through the history of medieval Hakata in those days together.

 

- Xie Guoming, who was born in China during the Song Dynasty, made a fortune through the Japan-Song trade (trade between Japan and the Song Dynasty) and is famous for building Jotenji Temple (Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City) in 1242 and welcoming Shoichi Kokushi, who returned from the Song Dynasty, to open the temple.

 

- He was a Zen Buddhist priest who was involved in the origin of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, which I mentioned earlier. He is also said to have been the first person to teach Japan how to make yokan ( Japanese sweet bean jelly ) and manju ( Japanese sweet bean paste ). Xie Guoming was deeply devoted to such a master and had a strong faith in Buddhism.

 

- His base of operations in the Song Dynasty was Ningbo, in present-day Zhejiang Province, which is located in an ideal position between Hangzhou Bay at the mouth of the Yangtze River, with Shanghai to the north and Ningbo to the south. While traveling between Hakata and the Song Dynasty, Xie Guoming settled near the Kushida Shrine in Hakata.

 

- Xie Guoming became a naturalized Japanese citizen and took the Japanese name “Goushu Shataro Kuniaki". "Gou" means "fleet," so Goushu means "fleet commander. From his Japanese name, we can imagine that he was a ship owner, captain, and merchant.

 

 

*The photo shows the stone garden in front of the main temple of Jotenji. /

 

中世博多-謝国明(その1)…宋と博多を往来する貿易商人

 

- 今回の記事では、鎌倉時代(1185年~1333年)の中世博多の街や人々の姿を紹介します。ご一緒に当時の中博多の歴史を散歩してみましょう。

 

- 宋の時代の中国に生まれた謝国明は日宋貿易(日本と宋の貿易)で財を成し、1242年に承天寺(福岡市博多区)を建立して、宋から帰国した聖一国師を迎え開山したことで有名です。

 

- 聖一国師は以前ご紹介しました「博多祇園山笠」の起源に関わった禅宗の高僧です。またようかんやまんじゅうの作り方を日本に初めて伝えた人物だともいわれています。謝国明はそのような聖一国師に深く帰依するとともに、仏教にあつい信仰を寄せたのです。

 

- 宋での拠点は現在の浙江省寧波で、長江の河口に広がる杭州湾を挟んで北に上海、南に寧波という絶好の位置にあります。謝国明は博多と宋を行き来するうちに博多の櫛田神社のそばに住み着きました。

 

- 謝国明は日本に帰化し日本名を「綱首謝太郎国明」と名乗りました。「綱」とは「船団」のことですから綱首は「船団司令官」のことです。日本名から推測すると、謝国明は船主兼船長兼貿易商といった仕事ぶりが想像できます。

 

 

*写真は承天寺本堂前の石庭です。